+ ARTE AND TALŌ OFFER A NEW APPROACH TO ECUADORIAN INDIGENOUS COMMUNITIES
Collaborating to energize the local market, the galleries + Arte and Talō (both Ecuadorian) present parte de mí / aparte de mí (part of me / apart from me) by the artists Karen Miranda Rivadeneira and Misha Vallejo Prut. Exhibited at Talō and curated by Gabriela Moyano (+ Arte), the show will be open until July 26.
Karen Miranda Rivadeneira in her series En la boca del jaguar de la montaña todos somos colibríes danzantes (In the mouth of the Mountain Jaguar we are all dancing hummingbirds) and Misha Vallejo in his Secreto Sarayaku (Sarayaku Secret) series, propose new perspectives that move away from traditional photographic documentary to approach different visions of people, landscapes, times and places they photograph. Uniting both series results in a unique entrance to these native peoples who, by neglecting the interests that predominate in previous approaches to indigenous communities, places us between the hegemonic and the indigenous conception, and various nuances in between.
Aiming at the splashes of a global economy in spaces that are intended to be kept intact but also pointing to areas that are located between the concrete and the Andean cosmology, this selection of works intends mapping the contours of that nuance. In addition, it formally addresses the interest of artists in the medium and their research on these communities.
In the mouth of the mountain jaguar we are all dancing hummingbirds combines a fictional and factual narrative that occurs in a small community in the Bolívar province in the Andes of Ecuador. There is a propensity for the extraordinary when one plays within the limits of what is possible. “The spirit of the mountain reminds me that I do not take photos; the moments I capture are presented at will and my task is to ask permission to lend them. It is the entrance to the vertebra of this earth, and it is an invitation to create stories that exist in the space of the real and the imaginary." - states the artist
Sarayaku Secret is an essay disguised as a documentary, an invitation to explore a jungle of information where indigenous ancestral wisdom converge with contemporary Western wisdom. The Kichwa community of Sarayaku, located in the Ecuadorian Amazon, has a physical and spiritual connection with its environment and its guardians, visible and invisible, to maintain the balance of life, not only in the jungle but throughout the world. For this community, we are all part of this great and complex Earth organism and everything is interconnected; if one of the elements is destroyed everything will be affected. Currently, the Kichwa Native People of Sarayaku disseminate this ancestral philosophy through western tools: the internet and social networks. For them, the protection of their home is paramount, not only for their own survival but for humanity.
Karen Miranda Rivadeneira (Ecuador, 1983) is an Ecuadorian-American artist who focuses on memory, representation and narrative through collaborative processes and personal stories. Karen has collaborated extensively with her family in different indigenous communities in the Bolívar and Napo provinces of Ecuador and in the New Mexico desert to create photographic projects. She has exhibited in the Portrait Gallery of the Smithsonian Museum in Washington D.C. and in the Queens museum. She has participated in the New York Times portfolio reviews on two occasions, in the Houston Fotofest, and in the third Latin American forum in Sao Paulo, Brazil. In 2018 she was nominated for the Prix Pictec, the Foam Paul Huff Award, The Rolex Mentor & Protégé initiative; and, she was a finalist for the Hariban Award. She published her first book with Autograph ABP also in 2018. Karen is one of the mentors for the Woman Photograph mentorship program and was a recipient of the WeWomen award, for which she is developing a project in New Mexico.
Misha Vallejo Prut (Ecuador, 1985) is a visual artist and audiovisual narrator whose work is on the border between documentary and artistic language. In 2014 he completed his Master of Arts at the London College of Communications at the London University of the Arts. Among other distinctions, he has been selected for the Amsterdam Docking Station artistic residency on two occasions (Holland, 2019 and 2020), won the documentary feature film production fund of the Institute of Cinema and Audiovisual Creation (2020), won the Prince Claus scholarship Fund for Cultural and Artistic Responses to Climate Change (Netherlands, 2019), won the Photo Europe Network award at the Photon Festival in Valencia (Spain, 2018) and won the Mariano Aguilera National Arts Award (Ecuador, 2015). In 2016 he published his first photobook Al Otro Lado (Editora Madalena, Brazil), which was selected among the best author books of the Rencontres de la Photographie festival (France, 2016), obtained the only honorable mention of the Felifa-Fola award ( Argentina, 2016) and was selected as the best photography book in Brazil of that year, among many other international recognitions. In 2018, he published his second book Siete punto Ocho (RM, Spain), which obtained an honorable mention in the Pictures Of The Year Latin America 2019 contest and was exhibited at the Athens Photo Festival (Greece, 2018). Recently, the same publisher published his third photobook, Secreto Sarayaku. His personal work has been shown at: LUMIX Festival of young Visual Journalism (Germany, 2020), the Bronx Documentary Center (United States, 2018), Rencontres de la Photographie festival (France, 2018), Budapest Photo Festival (Hungary, 2019), International Photography Festival of Valdivia (Chile, 2019) among others. In addition, his editorial and personal work has been published in outlets such as The New York Times, Marie Claire, VICE, GEO, Esquire, and many others. He has given talks and specialized workshops in photography around the world, among which his participation in the III Latin American Colloquium of Photography (Mexico, 2018) stands out.